- Lacob admits priority is defending NBA champions
- Angles last valued by Forbes at US$2.2bn
The Angels’ current owner Arte Moreno announced last August that he had initiated a formal process to explore a potential sale of the franchise. Galatioto Sports Partners (GSP), who are also overseeing the sale of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Ottawa Senators, has been retained as financial advisor.
Lacob, who bought the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Warriors in 2010 for US$450 million, has now confirmed his interest in acquiring the MLB team. “It’s been reported that we’re looking at it, and that’s true,” he said on a podcast for The Athletic. “I don’t know what we’re going to do yet.
“I grew up there, it’s a little bit of an attraction for me, I was a peanut vendor for seven years. I lived a mile from that stadium. That stadium’s been around for a long time. I’ve always felt that it had great possibilities.
“LA’s a huge market, and it’s part of that LA overall market. And they’ve drawn over three million fans, I think, 17 of the last 20 years. We’re going to look at it, but it wouldn’t be the easiest thing in the world to do because it is not co-located like perhaps a local baseball team might be. But might be doable. So we’ll see.”
The 66-year-old was previously near to acquiring the Oakland Athletics, offering US$180 million in 2005. However, Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle that then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig favoured an opposing bid from John Fisher and Lew Wolff, resulting in the deal being “yanked” away from him.
However, despite the interest in the Angels, Lacob insisted that his focus remains fixed on the defending NBA champion Warriors.
“I’m really focused on what we’re doing here,” Lacob said. “It’s the most important thing.
“I’ve made it known, we’ve made it known that, at the right time, should another major sports team that kind of made sense with our skillsets as an organisation become available, that we would be interested and certainly could do it. But I don’t think they’re for sale, to answer your question.”
The Angels were last valued by Forbes at US$2.2 billion, ranking them as the ninth-most valuable MLB franchise. The team has also drawn interest from Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong.